The men’s basketball team was able to beat a resilient Florida Tech team 70-62 this afternoon. Coming off a big win this past Wednesday on the road against Lynn, the men’s basketball team faced the Florida Tech Panthers in the Martinez gym.
Florida Tech came into the game with a Sunshine State Conference record of 2-7 and were looking to play spoilers against a Spartans squad that was sitting in the middle of the SSC table at 5-5.
Starting for the Spartans were senior Eugene McCrory, sophomore Austin Rettig, freshman Duke Shelton, sophomore Matt Johnson, and senior captain Jordan Davis.
The Spartans won the tip off and were able to score on their first few possessions and go up 8-2 before Florida Tech called the first timeout of the game.
McCrory and Shelton had a solid first half, putting up nine and six points respectively. Davis led the team in scoring by the end of the half with ten points with help from a pair of three -pointers.
The Spartans went into halftime with a double-digit lead but found themselves on their heels when the Florida Tech Panthers went on a 10-0 run to start the half. The Panthers were able to take the lead for the first time in the game as they went up 39-38 with 13:30 left on the clock.
However, Florida Tech’s lead was short lived as Rettig was able to nail 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions. Florida Tech fought back and were only two points behind with less than a minute to play.
The Spartans were able to break away from Florida Tech with a crucial three-pointer from Davis to put Tampa up by five with 20 seconds left. Johnson was able to seal the win with two vital steals and shooting all six of his free-throws to propel Tampa to a 70-62 victory.
Tampa now sits fourth on the SSC table at 6-5 and will look to build momentum before the SSC tournament. The Spartans next game is at home this upcoming Wednesday against Eckerd.
Marcus Mitchell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org